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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 31 March 2003



H I G H L I G H T S

 

* Great Lakes Appropriations Letters

* Economic Development Forum

* Senate Trade Adjustment Assistance Appropriations

* Senate Energy Efficiency Appropriations

* Report: Brownfields Federal Legislative Update

* Report: Corps of Engineers and Brownfield Redevelopment

* House Letter Opposing LIHEAP Pickering Amendment

* House Energy Efficiency Appropriations

* Manufacturing Employment Data

 

 

GREAT LAKES APPROPRIATIONS LETTERS

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The Great Lakes Task Forces are circulating a number of appropriations letters supporting funding for the Great Lakes.  The signature deadline for two of these letters -- the House Energy & Water appropriations, and the Senate Interior appropriations -- is March 28th.

 

Contact:  Joy Mulinex at the Senate Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).

 

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FORUM

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The Northeast-Midwest groups on Friday, April 4, will host an economic development forum on opportunities within the 108th Congress to improve the region’s economic health.  The morning meeting will review the region's changing demographics and economics, as well as review infrastructure, workforce, and finance issues before the 108th Congress.  Participants also will discuss several policy proposals, including a secondary market for economic development, Community Development Block Grants, Economic Development Administration reauthorization, and other legislation critical to the Northeast-Midwest region.  The session should be particularly useful for congressional staff, and representatives of the region's governors, mayors, universities, and businesses.

 

The April 4 forum will run from 9:30 am until 11:30 am in room 562 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Coffee, juice, and pastries will be served.  Please RSVP to Gabrielle Riggio (202/544-5200).

 

 

SENATE TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE APPROPRIATIONS

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Senate Coalition co-chairs Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) are seeking signatures on a letter that requests $16 million for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for Firms for fiscal 2004.  The signature deadline is April 2.

 

Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).

 

 

SENATE ENERGY EFFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS

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Senators Collins and Reed also are seeking signatures on a letter that asks Interior appropriators to help increase the nation's energy efficiency and improve policy decisionmaking.  The letter seeks $288 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program, $74 million for the State Energy Program, $85 million for the Energy Information Administration, $100 million for the Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies, and $25.2 million for the Existing Plants Program.  The signature deadline is April 2.

 

Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).

 

 

BROWNFIELDS FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

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The annual Northeast-Midwest Institute report, Promoting Brownfield Redevelopment in the 107th Congress:  Summary of Federal Legislative Activity 2001-2002, summarizes the new Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act as well as bills proposed in the last Congress to facilitate and fund brownfield projects.  Many of the bills will resurface in the 108th Congress; the report includes information on those that have been reintroduced to date.

 

Contact:  Charles Bartsch at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200).

 

 

THE ROLE OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF

ENGINEERS IN BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT

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Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has collaborated with federal, state, local, and nonprofit agencies in cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields.  A new Northeast-Midwest Institute report describes the authorities and agreements that enable the Corps to assist in brownfield projects and provides a variety of case studies that illustrate the Corps' role.  The report also notes legal, procedural, and financial barriers to the Corps' brownfield activities, and suggests ways to facilitate the Corps' involvement when it can leverage ongoing Corps projects.

 

Contact:  Barbara Wells at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200).

 

 

HOUSE LETTER OPPOSING LIHEAP PICKERING AMENDMENT

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Members of the Northeast-Midwest House Coalition sent a letter to Energy and Commerce chair Rep. William Tauzin (R-LA) and ranking member Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) opposing the LIHEAP amendment proposed by Rep. Charles Pickering (R-MS).  Over 60 members have signed this letter opposing the Pickering amendment that would alter the allocation of funds for LIHEAP.

 

LIHEAP was established to assist poor families facing high energy costs, and its funding is allocated to the states by a formula that accounts for heating degree days, costs of living, and poverty.  The Northeast and Midwest regions would lose nearly $160 million in much needed LIHEAP funding if the Pickering amendment is adopted.

 

The Energy and Commerce Committee will consider this amendment on Tuesday, April 1.

 

 

HOUSE ENERGY EFFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS

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Several members of the Northeast-Midwest House Coalition are circulating a letter endorsing adequate funding for the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and State Energy Program (SEP).  The WAP and SEP programs enhance the efficient use of energy resources at both state and local levels.

 

WAP pays for the insulation of low-income housing, enabling the most vulnerable members of the population to stay warm in colder months while using less energy.  SEP funding helps state energy officials run a wide variety of programs to ensure that schools, hospitals, and other public institutions are energy-efficient, and coordinate energy-related security planning for acts of terrorism, vandalism, and weather emergencies.  The letter requests $288 million for WAP and $74 million for SEP.

 

For more information, or to sign onto the Coalition letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies contact Michael Beckerman (202/226-9496).

 

 

MANUFACTURING EMPLOYMENT DATA

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The Northeast-Midwest Institute web site has new state and regional data on manufacturing employment changes since the peak of the last economic cycle in March 2001, and since the most recent peak for manufacturing employment nationwide in April 1998.  The tables are available for downloading in one Adobe Acrobat pdf file at http://www.nemw.org/MfgEmpChange.pdf.  The loss in manufacturing jobs from the start of the last recession through November 2002 exceeded the -7.1 percent national level for all six New England states, Minnesota in the Midwest, and all the Mid-Atlantic states except Maryland.  For the longer period since April 1998, eight Northeast-Midwest states experienced sharper declines in manufacturing employment than the national average, but none of the Midwestern states outpaced the nation in terms of the decline.  The tables also show change in overall employment since March 2001.

 

For more information, contact Matt Kane at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (651/297-2406).